Gendered effects of Macro-economic agendas in the COVID19 response


Emilia Reyes and Rosa Lizarde [1]

Publisert: 11.03.2021    Redigert: 12.03.2021

The Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development (WWG on FFD) is an alliance of women’s organizations and networks to advocate for the advancement of gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights in the Financing for Development related UN processes. We are organizing a series of webinars on Macro Solutions for Women, the People and the Planet, in which we will address these issues in dept [2]. Here are some macro-economic issues impacting gender equality and women and girl’s human rights, including recommendations to address them. These are crucial to fulfil the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, due to their structural nature.

The macro-economic dimension of gender equality related to the sexual division of labor [3]. The confinement increases unpaid domestic and care work, with even bigger burden on rural and poorer women. To reverse this impact it is crucial to visibilize, value, reduce and redistribute unpaid and domestic care work between the State, the private sector, communities, families, men and women, including by the provision of social protection and proper infrastructure, decent housing and access to services.

Developing countries’ lack of capacity for domestic resource mobilization. This problem has two main origins:

  1. Unsustainability of debt. Much of developing countries’ revenues are destined to debt payment [4]. Public debts involving International Financial Institutions include austerity conditionalities depleting social sectors, such as health, education, and social protection, to the extent that 64 countries spend more on debt payment than on health [5]. This enhances gender and structural inequalities. Private lenders are willing to sue governments in case they decide to respond to the pandemic instead of paying debt services. This is why there is a global demand for debt restructuring and debt cancellation, ensuring countries have access to grants, not loans.
  2. Corporate tax abuse and tax avoidance. By not paying taxes in the country where the value was originated, corporations either channel the money to tax havens, or underreport by means of complex and loose global dynamics [6]. Developing countries are left with no capacity to mobilize
  3. the maximum amount of resources to ensure gender equality and women’s human rights [7]. Promoting progressive taxation, taxing financial transactions, speculation with currencies and others, can expand fiscal floors.

Intellectual Property Rights. There is a real threat of corporate capture of the patents of vaccines, treatments, medical technology but also the large components of food systems that will ensure food sovereignty in a context of an upcoming famine. It is urgent to halt trade agreement and make use of IPR flexibilities to ensure universal, accessible and affordable access.


This text was originally published in the 1/2020 edition of our magazine iFokus. Read the magazine.

[1] Emilia Reyes is Program Director of Policies and Budgets for Equality and Sustainable Development, at Equidad de Genero: Ciudadania, Trabajo y Familia. Co-Convener of the WWG on FFD. Rosa Lizarde is is the Global Director of the Feminist Task Force, a global coalition advocating for “Gender Equality to End Poverty.” Co-Convener of the Women’s Working Group on Financing for Development. 
[2] For more information to access these webinars, please contact: and 
[3] OXFAM press release: Last seen, May 27th, 2020.
[4] Eurodad:, Last seen, May 27th, 2020.
[5] Jubilee:, Last seen, May 27th, 2020.
[6] For a deeper analysis on IFF’s and gender, see:, Last seen on May 27th, 2020.
[7] CEDAW:, Last seen on May 27th, 2020. 


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